Many of us within the community have heard the terms Cult of the Old and Cult of the New. The cult of the old are gamers who like to stick to older games. The name is also typically associate with gamers who like to really get their money out of games by playing them a lot of times. This is directly in opposition of the cult of the new. These gamers like the new hotness. Also these types of gamers are typically individuals who play games only a few times before moving on. Even though these two groups are pretty heavily established I would like to take some time to talk about another group of people that exist in our community, The Cult of The Trendy.
This new cult doesn’t typically prefer new or older games. They tend to be people who are in the know. They are the individuals who regularly participate in our community in all its wonderful facets. These people know about what is new and on the cutting edge while still maintaining a sense of what is classic. Need a game for new gamers to pull them in? They will be able to suggest three. Want to know what is coming out at GenCon this year? They have a list of games they are gonna pick up. It may just seem like it is a combination of the two cults in a very non-creative way but wait because I am about to go deeper.
The normal situation that leads to partaking in one of the original cults (old and new) is time, a gamer’s nemesis. Time typically forces individuals to choose what they want to play. If someone has an established collection and does not like to spend money or cannot get games for free may fall into the cult of the old, trying to milk every last ounce of worth out of a game before trading it away. If a gamer has only recently gotten into the hobby or has a lot of disposable income (read me) then they will probably partake more in the cult of the new. Each game being a new experience and their funds allowing them to indulge (sometimes over indulge) on new cardboard. However what happens when time becomes less of an issue?
This is where I believe the cult of the trendy comes in. These people have more time on their hands and typically less restrictions on spending, which allows them to pick up those games like Fury of Dracula along side of Dead of Winter when released at GenCon. These people have the time to invest in not only understanding where gaming is at in the present, but also where gaming came from in the past and what is on the horizon.
The reason I use the term trendy is not to reflect what is new, but to reflect what is being talked about and what is the conventional wisdom of the community. The best way to see some of this is The Hotness on BGG. This list is basically a list of the most clicked on board games. So it is just popularity right? Not quite. Imagine you listen to the new Dice Tower Episode and you hear a game called, Carcassonne. They mentioned it because it has a new expansion, but they also said it is a great gateway game. You have never heard of Carcassonne, so you go to BGG and search it. This will give it ranking on The Hotness. Now imagine another scenario, I am a long time gamer and I have fond memories of playing Carcassonne, so when they mention it on the Dice Tower I want to see where the game is and now how many expansions and such are out now. I search it on BGG and add to its rank on The Hotness. So the Hotness is not simply just new games it is old games, and games that are still in concept or currently on Kickstarter.
The cult of the Trendy tends to be a mix of cultural awareness, time, and funds. Being plugged in is what I would consider a major factor in being in the cult of the trendy. This may be more applicable to me because I got into board gaming less than 2 years ago, so I am still finding older games that I need to own alongside the new ones. Until next time answer me this: What cult do you think you are a part of?